Dine With A Vampire: Master and Monster

This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/dine_vampire  But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

In my first analysis about Dine With A Vampire, I pointed out that the vampire Park Chi-Hwan was behaving more like a human than the real humans Joo Sooin and Kwon Sungha because he showed more empathy and care for Joo Sooin than the human Sungha. Besides, Sooin had become a zombie due to Sungha’s hatred for homosexuality and the latter was in fact the real monster due to the emotional and physical abuse he perpetrated on the main lead. Now, I would like to examine the chapters 12 and 13 because both revolves around the new relationship between Sooin and Chi-Hwan. What are they to each other? Who is the master and who is the animal, the monster, in their relationship? This essay will try to answer this question.

What caught my attention in the two chapters is that the long abuse experienced by the main lead totally changed his perception about himself. He judges himself as a monster because he is a homosexual. That’s why he keeps using the words “weird” in the chapter 12 and in the chapter 13, he calls himself “a pervert, a fag”. Imagine, he is actually insulting himself. He sees himself as an anomaly, as a monster who is not allowed to exist. Hence he can’t attract attention. We shouldn’t forget in the chapter 10 and 11, Sooin felt so uncomfortable with the new clothes and the number of dishes proposed by Chi-Hwan because he was asked to choose. Since Sungha took away his freedom, our main character lost his ability to say what he truly likes and desires. The last image above illustrates the impact of the violence used on Sooin. It becomes clear that Sungha truly destroyed Sooin’s personality and identity. Just like Baek Na-Kyum (the main lead from Painter Of The Night), Sooin can’t voice his true desires and thoughts properly. Notice that there are a lot of pauses in his sentences, when he speaks. Besides, he uses the same idioms (pervert, fag) than the manipulator Sungha so that we can conclude that the former friend used coercive persuasion. The outburst of his self-hatred was caused by the single words said by the vampire: Striking is that the moment he hears this sentence, he starts mistaking the vampire for Sungha. Note that he is not even looking at his sex partner, because he hid his eyes with his arm. This reveals the importance of the gaze once again. Sooin can’t look at Park Chi-Hwa as he fears to see his own reflection in the vampire’s eyes. Will he see himself in the man’s gaze as a monster? Here, I feel the need to elaborate Jean-Paul Sartres’ theory about the gaze.

In Sartres’ theater play “No Exit” (“Huis Clos” in French), the three protagonists Joseph Garcin, Inez Serrano, and Estelle Rigault, are dead and their damned souls are brought to the same room in Hell where there is no mirror. As they are locked inside by a mysterious valet, they are confronted with their own reflection through the gaze from the others. Here, in this deformed reflection, the three sinners are unable to accept what they see that’s why at some point Garcin concludes that “”hell is other people” (“l’enfer c’est les autres”) because the judgement perceived through the gaze of people makes it unbearable for the “sinners”. They avoid the gaze because they can’t face their own wrongdoings and flaws. In other words, the gaze serves as a mirror, however there is a lot of subjectivity in it and the gaze doesn’t truly reflect the reality. Here, Joo Sooin never sinned but he was sent to hell due to Sungha’s gaze containing hatred and resent. As you can detect, Sooin’s fate resembles the fate of Garcin and the others. He lived in a cage like an animal with no hope to escape, yet he was innocent. Because he spent so many years with such a terrible reflection, he kind of became “blind” and relied more on his ears. That’s why the uke’s eyes were so lifeless, when the vampire met him for the first time. It was as if his eyes had died due to the constant confrontation with Sungha’s gaze. As a conclusion, the main lead sees himself as a monster, not deserving any attention and warmth. He is still surprised by the affection the vampire is exuding towards him. This explains why the main lead started fearing the supernatural creature, when Sooin heard chi-Hwa sighing after the uke had refused to comply to the vampire’s needs (drinking his blood). He heard Chi-Hwa sighing and misinterpreted this as dissatisfaction. Observe that the drawing doesn’t show Sooin’s eyes and at the same time, he is only focused on the vampire’s voice and not his eyes. We could say that the uke is still under the influence of the brainwashing operated by Sungha. Sooin has not regained his humanity, his true identity. The so-called monster is still under the ruling of Sungha, because he rejects to fulfill the vampire’s need due the ex-friend’s ideology. The innocent man still fears the gaze and the gossip from others. Now you can understand why Sooin became a zombie, a monster in his eyes. He saw a bad image of himself in Sungha’s gaze but at the same time he was manipulated through the friend’s doctrine that even others would perceive him like that. At some point, Chi-Hwa gets aware that Sooin needs to look at him, so he forces the man to look at him in the eyes. This is important because for the first time, Sooin is confronted with a different gaze and judgement. He recognizes the lord, his kindness.

Striking is that the moment Sooin shows himself with the new clothes, he awakes the vampire’s appetite. Surprising are the clothes Sooin chose. They are dark (dark blue, black) reflecting his actual state of mind: almost lifeless, very pessimistic. So the vampire’s excitement is not caused by the colors, rather by the form of the collar revealing his neck and his chest. This is very alluring for the supernatural creature. In Park Chi-Hwan’s gaze, the main lead is definitely no monster but a delicious meal. That’s why he gulps loudly and his fangs come out. He wants to taste the man’s blood. In this moment, Chi-Hwan seems to follow his instincts hence he approaches Sooin. It was, if the vampire’s true nature would surface, he is a monster led by his blood thirst. Remember that Park Chi-Hwa even described the vampires as predators or parasites, so one might say that they are indeed monsters. So do we have two monsters here?

While the main lead judges himself as a monster, Park Chi-Hwa calls him “master” and treats him as such. He listens to Sooin’s excuses and wishes. When the uke refused to give him his blood in the cabine, the supernatural creature questioned himself. The readers can witness how the so-called monster reflects on his behavior. He even kisses the man, comforts him twice, when he realizes the traumatized state of Sooin. He knows the importance of Sooin’s well-being. In the vampire’s eyes, the human is so precious and delicate as he represents his source of energy and life. Sure, he needs his blood thereby one might argue that Sooin is just a prey, the vampire’s meal and not a master. The reader could even confirm this judgement, Park Chi-Hwan is a monster because in the chapter 13, the author chose to reveals the creature’s inner thoughts showing his beastly nature. He wants to devour Sooin. All his thinking revolves around food and even death, the manhwaphiles can detect the brutality in his language. I chose as illustration the following image since it represents the peak of his hunger. The readers can even sense the increasing of his bestiality as the expressions are getting more and more violent: “I want to devour him”; “I just want to rip him open” … “and devour every part of him”. We have the impression that the vampire’s animalistic instincts are growing to the point he could lose the control of his bestiality. However at no moment, he changes his behavior. I feel that while his thoughts indicates the awakening of his “monstrosity”, he acts more humanly in reality. He stands in opposition of Sungha, who gave up on his humanity and his reason. He let social standards and religious doctrines ruled his behavior and his thoughts.

My point is that Park Chi-Hwa followed all the requests Sooin had in the chapter 12 and 13. One might dispute that he rejected to have a fellatio in the cabine, as Sooin wanted. However, his proposition to do it home represents the compromise between the concerns the uke expressed before (people might hear his voice, his fear of people) and the request Sooin had. All this mirrors how caring and attentive the vampire is. He might be an “animal”(when we analyse his thoughts), nonetheless he never lets his instincts cloud his reasoning and judgement. At no moment, he acts like a monster towards the human. Like I mentioned before, the vampire treats the human like his master. However, if you take a closer look at the following image, this reflects their relationship: Sooin is the master, yet he is below the vampire as if he was inferior to the vampire. Furthermore, the creature gives the order: “Suck it”. Besides, the man calls Chi-Hwa “sir” and this is how someone addresses to a master. So in my opinion, both are masters. The vampire is helping the man to become a human again, he is helping him to get a personality and identity. He knows that the man needs to discover that his homosexuality is something natural, that he is first a human. That’s why he promises Sooin to let him forget Sungha. For him, Sooin should never define himself based on his sexual orientation. They live in symbiosis, in perfect harmony. Sooin is receiving love, warmth for the first time and the other can finally enjoy life too. He is no longer living like a vampire but like a human because he shows his human side to Sooin. As conclusion, both are masters and monsters, although it is only a matter of time, until Sooin becomes a real human who can express himself perfectly and know his taste.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support. Tomorrow, I’ll post about Painter Of The Night again.

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